Goessel building nears 50th anniversary

Goessel Superintendent John Fast informed the school board at its Feb. 9 meeting that the 50th anniversary of the elementary school building will be coming up in fall.

Fast said a celebration will be planned, although a date has not yet been set. The building was built in 1959 and initially served students through eighth grade.

Currently, the building is used for kindergarten through fifth grade; sixth, seventh and eighth grades have been moved to the junior/senior high school building.

In preparation for the celebration, Fast said he would like to make some improvements to the building. He said he is hoping for an economical ?facelift? for the restrooms. He is also in the process of applying for a Federal Emergency Manage?ment Agency grant for a storm shelter for the grade school.

Meanwhile, Marc Grout, junior/senior high school principal, explained possible changes in the Heart of America league. He said the league would stay the same next year, but changes might occur after that.

Grout said two schools are thinking about leaving the league, and seven schools had applied to join. Four schools that applied are smaller schools that are now in the Eisenhower League.

Board member Dan Miller wondered if the creation of a new league would be an option.

Grout said it would be an option, although he commended the HOA: ?It?s a very well-run league.?

Fast added, ?It has been good for us.? But he also noted it might be time to move on.

Grout said there might be an opportunity to switch leagues now, but that opportunity might not exist in the future. Miller noted travel distances for some ball games and suggested the possibility of meeting at a central site for some games.

Board chairman Lynel Unrau noted that Grout is the league president this year. Fast said the presidency is rotated alphabetically among schools.

In other business, the board:

n voted to grant tenure to high school agriculture education teacher David Graham. He is also the FFA sponsor and assistant high school Scholars Bowl coach. Fast said, ?He works extremely hard? and does an outstanding job.

n approved the administration?s recommendation to offer an assistant track coach position to Susan Saunders. She also teaches high school math.

n heard about recent student accomplishments from Grout. He said the high school Scholars Bowl team won the regional competition at Stafford on Feb. 5 and was planning to compete in the state tournament at Quinter on Feb. 14. He said this is the seventh year in a row that Goessel has competed at the state level. The team is coached by Wes Schmidt-Tieszen and Graham.

n heard Grout report that the boys? and girls? junior high varsity basketball teams both finished the season with a record of 5-7. He said the girls lost in double overtime at the tournament.

Grout reminded the board that this was the first year sixth graders had played junior high basketball.

?I?ve had positive comments,? he said. ?I haven?t heard any negative comments.? He said coaches agree that arrangement should continue next year.

?We do need sixth-grade girls next year,? Grout said. Without them, there might not be enough girls for a team.

n noted that the elementary school would have a ?Never give up, Encourage others, and Do your best? program Feb. 18. Yo-yos and music will be used in the presentation.

n heard that the K-5 ?Destin?ation: America? music program would be Thursday, Feb. 19. Songs from various decades will be featured.

n heard that the robotics team, made up of sixth and seventh graders, would compete at a competition in Wichita Feb. 21. Fast said 30 teams are entered, with 12 competing at the ?expert? level.

?We entered at the expert level,? Fast said. The competition encourages problem-solving abilities.

n heard that Wilson Fernan?dez Novo, a school superintendent from Uruguay, planned to visit the Goessel schools. Fast said he is on a cultural exchange program and is visiting a number of large and small schools in central Kansas.

n viewed the new 66-passenger bus that was recently purchased. It will be used on Rod Boese?s route. His old bus will become a substitute bus; an older bus was traded in.

n heard about problems with Jim Schmidt?s bus. Fast said a mechanic from the IC Bus Company had come from Missouri to look at it.

n reviewed the policy for accepting out-of-district students. Fast said all requests are handled through the district?s central office. Families fill out an application, and have to reapply every year.

Board clerk Patsy Schmidt informed the board that about 20 out-of-district students are attending Goessel this year.

n reviewed the ?Appropriate Use Permission Form,? which addresses the issue of posting pictures of students on the school?s Web site and the use of specific names. Student e-mail is also addressed on the form. Grout said the new form would comply with privacy laws.

n heard Darla Meysing, the board?s representative on Marion County Special Education Cooperative board, report on the building MCSEC had purchased recently in Marion.

?We own the building; it is ours,? she said. It has been paid in full. She said an architect is working to make some changes, and the building should be ready for use by July 31.

Fast said the Oasis program will be the first to move into the new building. The speech and psychologist services will also move in, as well as executive offices.

The KLASS program will stay in Peabody for now but will eventually move into the new building, too.

Meysing said, ?Eventually, everything will be there.?

When board member Lynette Duerksen asked how many students Goessel has in the KLASS program, Fast said one.

He also said the total in the Oasis program is going from 18 to 20 students, but none of them are from Goessel.

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